Loosely based on the Greek myth "Pygmalion" a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory but his statue was so fair and realistic that he fell in love with it.
The snobbish & intellectual Professor of languages, Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) makes a bet with his friend (Scott Sunderland) that he can take a London flower seller, Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller), from the gutters and pass her off as a society lady.
However he discovers that this involves dealing with a human being with ideas of her own.
August 30, 2015 Subject:
I notice the other reviews [and the credit] do not mention the brilliant GBS, playwright. It is his brilliance that makes this film live, aided by a talented director. Non of the actors would shine without these originators and their performances, excellent, are brought to life through brilliant dialogue and direction.
October 7, 2011 Subject:
Every bit as good as the My Fair Lady production - if not better. Excellent acting, costumes. I can't fault it!
September 3, 2011 Subject:
One of the greats
Have watched this here several times. The film is practically perfect. As good as Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn are in the musical remake, I don't think it compares.
March 24, 2011 Subject:
superb especially for the time
Not many movies from this time period are great. This is a classic.
February 18, 2011 Subject:
What difference an Actor
Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller create a choreography that transcends the dance. Interestingly Howard remains much the same indifferent bachelor, the shield wielded by a man intimidated by a strong woman.
Wendy Hiller is a canvas, or sculpture, to be molded physically, and eventually an inner beauty is revealed, not created by Higgens, nor Pickering, even though both are vain enough to claim credit. Eliza is by far the strongest of all the characters in this fine film.
It must be noted that other than similar dialogue (set to music) Rex Harrison, and a slowly developing actress opposite of Hiller were clearly no match for the talent displayed in Pymallion.
Eliza's gradual transformation, both internal and external, was a marvel of craft, augmented by accentuating makeup, wardrobe, direction....and all that is possible in moviemaking.
However I must detract a point for the use of the Ocilloscope, a bit too like a comparison to Frankenstein in his lab if Bela Lugosi were somewhere about. Leslie's Higgens may have more than a bit of the mysoginist about him, but we are assured that Liza will hold the slippers hostage if he persists!
Reviewer:Dr Feel Rotten
January 16, 2011 Subject:
What a wealth of talent.. With Bette Davis in of Human Bondage he was a trampled on broken man by the same gutter snipe as he says here and here he portrays the most arrogant bastard of them all I really wanted her to spit in his face and for Freddie to knock his teeth through the back of his head, but it didn't happen.
I have to think this was the play that inspired My Fair lady because nothing ever came any closer that i ever saw.
I snoozed through the middle of this and will watch it again another time.. Man..I hate when certain movies that don't at all bore me make me sleep.. Maybe it's the rhythms of the speech patterns..I don't know. I liked what i did see of this one which was most of it.